Chips that are specifically designed to harvest crypto-currency coins is being developed by Samsung Electronics, the company has revealed.
This chip manufacturing would enhance its profits, the company disclosed in the latest earnings report of the company.
Intel was overtaken be the South Korean electronics giant as the largest chipmaker in 2017, according to that report.
In the report, the company further said that it anticipated strong demand for the soon to be launched Galaxy S9 smartphone.
The company roughly delivered the same figures as the market had expected for its net profit for the fourth quarter at 12.3tn won ($11.5bn; £8.1bn).
There is little detail that Samsung has provided for now for its virtual currency business.
“Samsung’s foundry business is currently engaged in the manufacturing of crypto-currency mining chips,” it said in a statement.
“However, we are unable to disclose further details regarding our customers.”
In the context of generation of cryptocurrency, mining is the activity that involves solving of complex mathematical problems which leads to verification of crypto-currency transactions. And for this task the solution providers or the owners of the computers that are used are rewarded with new digital tokens or “coins”.
Asic (application-specific integrated circuit) chips are the processors that are involved in this activity, reported The Bell, a Korean-language newspaper.
Such chips are so designed that they are able to perform only one single function – in this case mining of virtual currencies, and are not able to do any other general computer operations.
The TV industry is typically more associated with Asic chips until 2013.
But processors that were custom designed for bitcoin mining were began to be sold by a New York-based entrepreneur that very year. The new chips claimed to offer better performance and use less energy compared to the GPU (graphics processing unit) chips which, until then, was the primary chip that was more commonly used for this type of mining.
The Asic technology has been made more appealing by the surge in prices of high-end GPU cards following a shortage in supply in recent months.
It was earlier this month, that Samsung had started mass production of the Bitcoin-related Asic chip after the company completed its development last year according to the news report published in The Bell.
The major processor-manufacturer that manufactures such chip is Taiwan’s TSMC till now.
A bet that the recent huge hike in the price of bitcoin is not a bubble that would burst soon is reflected by Samsung’s move, one expert said.
“We don’t know how low Samsung can sell its chip for and still be profitable,” said Garrick Hileman, a crypto-currency researcher from the University of Cambridge.
“But if Bitcoin’s price were to collapse and enter a bear market like in 2014 to 2015, one would wonder if Samsung would stay with this line of business through such a turn.”
(Adapted from BBC.com)